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Topic: Floods
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Apr 20, 2013 01:38PM)
This shows the river levels and predictions for Peoria. It is already to the house closest to the river on my street. I am 5 lots away. I don't think it will reach the house directly, but am a little concerned that the ground water might start to back up through the floor drains in the basement. That's where my magic collection is stored. CRAP!

Message: Posted by: Jim Sparx (Apr 20, 2013 03:16PM)
Remember Katrina. A lot of my friends in New Orleans lost everything. Move it, now.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Apr 20, 2013 03:37PM)
Good luck to you Michael. Looks like a bad year for flooding in lots of places.

Take care and keep safe.

Message: Posted by: Daryl -the other brother (Apr 20, 2013 04:39PM)
I had @ 2 1/2 feet of water with 4 sump pumps running. It took about 9 hours for the level to start dropping. Nothing stored down there because we've flooded before and I learned my lesson well. Hope everyone else is dry.
Message: Posted by: Woland (Apr 20, 2013 07:06PM)
Prayers for you and your neighbors, Michael.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Apr 20, 2013 07:08PM)
Move your stuff.

Good luck!
Message: Posted by: balducci (Apr 20, 2013 07:51PM)
Yes, good luck.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Apr 20, 2013 09:16PM)
Thanks guys! I have friends on standby in the event of water. With a human chain, everything can be upstairs in very short order. In the meantime, most everything that touches the floor down there is plastic. I learned my lesson about non-waterproof containers.

I have dealt with plenty of flooding in the past, so I know the drill. When I lived here in Peoria before, my old house was actually IN the Illinois River one Spring. That sucked. In Birmingham, I dealt with flash floods more than a few times. At least the river levels rising are predictable and gradual. Flash floods give you no warning at all. You are fine one minute and the next you're standing in waist-deep water.

One year down there I had to wade through some pretty deep stuff to rescue the neighbor's dog who was chained in their backyard and they were not home. I was kind of afraid he was going to climb me, but he was cool and just glad to be cut free.

There are places around here that are relying on levees to keep the water back. Some of those failed when the rains hit a few days ago. Several towns are more or less underwater. The chart I posted above shows where the levels are expected to be at any point on the timeline. It would take a lot more rain to make it worse, but the only thing to make it better would be if some levees failed south of here.

I'll be fine.
Message: Posted by: Bob1Dog (Apr 21, 2013 12:01AM)
Michael, I'm just now reading this. I hope you're doing fine. I've been through lood situations and know the worry about below the ground water penetration, especially when your special stuff is there. Keep us posted, will ya? best, bob
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Apr 21, 2013 03:38AM)
I was in the basement earlier this evening and did some estimation... There are windows, so the basement is not full depth. I estimated that the floor is about 5 feet lower than the bottom edge of the windows. There is also about a 2 foot elevation drop to my next door neighbor's house ( moving closer to the river), so that brings the depth to about 3 feet below the closest side of their house.

Having looked at the river level this evening, I compared it to a fence that runs along the marina across the street. Then estimated up about 5 feet from that point (the river is expected to rise about another 5 feet, cresting about Tuesday). The fence runs uphill toward me. There still seems to be plenty of buffer zone between the estimated high mark on the fence, and where I estimate the floor of my basement to be.

Fingers crossed, though. I'll know more tomorrow and surely by Monday.

Fortunately, there is nothing very large in the basement... some broken down illusions are probably the largest. Most everything else is in boxes and storage tubs (procrastination has kept me from taking everything out and setting up a display). So, even if I get water coming up the floor drain, jacking it all up so only plastic touches the floor should do the trick.

There are maybe a hundred or so of those boxes and tubs, so it could be all upstairs in a couple hours with help.

When I flooded in that other house (which was actually on this same street, second house from the river), it was a mess cleaning up, but the creatures displaced to dry land were something else. At that time, I found a wolf spider in the garage that had to be close to 3" across. I caught him in a jar and noticed his fangs were as thick as pencil leads. GADZOOKS!! I had the willys for days! Ha!

The upside was that it seemed a lot of extra nutrients were added to my land (dead fish, I suppose). The garden was remarkably productive that summer. I had tomato plants that climbed to the tops of a 6 foot trellis and back down to the ground again. The fruit were the size of softballs... seriously. So, I try to look for the silver lining whenever possible! :) I may be singing a different tune though, if I have to move all that stuff.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Apr 21, 2013 04:40PM)
Have you got the boxes on palettes?
Message: Posted by: tommy (Apr 21, 2013 04:56PM)
There are a few tips here:


A few things I would not have thought of. Good luck Michael.
Message: Posted by: Bob1Dog (Apr 21, 2013 07:44PM)
Michael, perhaps a dumb question, but do you have or can you get flood insurance? I recently purchased a policy for my property because we recently finished our basement and put some expensive gaming things down there, including all my magic stuff. We aren't in a flood plain and don't have the worries of floods, but every now and then a hurricane whips through here on the east coast and we're only a few miles east of the coast. We've not had an intrusion of water yet and that's why we took the flood insurance option. If you have any questions, let me know or send me a PM. I have a pretty good understanding of how it works.

Hope you've dodged the bullet at this point. best, bob
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Apr 21, 2013 09:45PM)
So far, so good. 28'6" was the latest I've seen. The water is about 50 yards from the house, but would have to rise several feet to get to me. Predictions are for about another foot and a half. I will be monitoring the basement floor tomorrow. Cardboard boxes are on top of plastic. I used to keep everything on pallets in Birmingham. I could not trust that basement and flash floods.

Flood insurance... no ... not even sure where the line for the flood plain is.
Message: Posted by: Bob1Dog (Apr 21, 2013 10:39PM)
Michael, you don't need to be in a flood plain to secure flood insurance, that's my point. And if you're not in a flood plain, the insurance gets cheaper. Mine only costs $300/year for $100k of construction repairs and $70K of content. I'll pray you continue to stay dry. best, bob

ps how is your shop affected by all this?
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Apr 21, 2013 10:54PM)
I guess I was confused about eligibility. One thing I do know... the house I lived in down the street burned down while I was living in Birmingham. It is an empty lot now and cannot be built on, because it is in the flood plain.

The river is at 28' 7" as I type and expected to tie the record of 28' 8" within the hour. We'll break that record sometime during the night.
Message: Posted by: Bob1Dog (Apr 21, 2013 11:11PM)
Michael, after all this is over, and hopefully with no damage to you and yours, please let me help you with the flood insurance issue. Your work is too important to us to be destroyed. best, bob
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Apr 22, 2013 01:08PM)
Thanks, Bob! I have all my insurance through State Farm, so if I did get flood insurance, I'd go through them, as they would be very in touch with flooding issues in this area (their HQ is 40 miles from here).

Here's a photo I just took (1:00 PM CDT) from my front yard. The river level is at a new record at this time (29.21 ft.). You can see in the photo that it comes to just behind the red truck, about 50 yards away. Close enough, eh?

Basement is fine.

Message: Posted by: Woland (Apr 22, 2013 01:17PM)
Close enough for me!
Message: Posted by: Stanyon (Apr 22, 2013 07:24PM)
I feel for 'ya Michael. Hang in there, because they say it ain't over yet!

(As said by a guy who lives 2000 ft above sea level...on a mountain. I haven't had to worry about water in the lower level for 10 years.)
Message: Posted by: Bob1Dog (Apr 22, 2013 08:12PM)
Wow Michael, that's close. The flooding was covered on the news tonight and it still looks bad. Hope you're still dry. Do talk to your State Farm folks; mine is with Allstate, but they all go through the government anyway, since it is through FEMA.
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Apr 22, 2013 08:49PM)
How close are you to the river? Looks like you're in a beautiful spot! Praying that the water stays back!
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Apr 22, 2013 08:54PM)
Hang in there Michael.

Wishing you the best,
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Apr 22, 2013 11:55PM)
On 2013-04-22 21:49, Andrew Zuber wrote:
How close are you to the river? Looks like you're in a beautiful spot! Praying that the water stays back!

Hey Andrew,

There are 7 lots on my street. I am the 2nd as you enter the subdivision. At this time the 1st 4 lots are dry, the last 3 are in water. I used to live on the 6th lot. That house burned down years ago, and it's just an empty lot now. There are 4 more parallel streets in the neighborhood and two connecting streets, one at the front one at the back. Same basic story on those other streets.

Beyond the last house there is a small wooded area owned by the park district, then the river. Right now, I'm about 50 yards from the water, normally about 200 yards. Yes, it's very nice and peaceful down here. There is a marina across the street from me on the other side of the fence.

It appears the crest has been reduced a bit, and we're about there. Lots of folks will be looking forward to getting back in their homes, but not the clean up.

We should be praying for them.
Message: Posted by: Bob1Dog (Apr 23, 2013 08:24PM)
How are you and your neighbors doing Michael?
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Apr 23, 2013 10:32PM)
Quiet here today. Modest rain all day, so not much activity. I talked to the guy whose house is next in line to get wet and he said he's fine. The river crested today at 29.35 feet. It will recede now. Lots of folks with a lot of clean-up about to start happening.

The city overall was very well organized about doing things from the civil engineering end, and helping those who need it.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Apr 23, 2013 11:08PM)
I just found these photos.


The shots of Rt. 29 are where I live, although no photos of my neighborhood. The Ivy Club (near the bottom of the page) is about 1/4 mile south of me.
Message: Posted by: Bob1Dog (Apr 23, 2013 11:31PM)
Those photos tell the story. Happy to hear you and your neighbors are safe, but sad for the heartache the others will face. I can't imagine having to deal with that kind of destruction in the home in which you live and love.